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A Deep voice from the Lake

August 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Maybe it was 3 or 4 years ago. I had first read about it in Resident advisor a year before but as their reviews are often to be taken with a grain of salt and often features duds, I didn’t check the album properly. Then I bought the album on vinyl, great experience but, most mixed albums fit better in the CD format. The mastering on cd here is fully is showcased in its glory at Enisslab studio, owned by Giuseppe Tillieci aka Neel, one part of Voices From The Lake. The title in itself was mysterious and enigmatic and it was one of the first things I heard from Italian producer Donato Dozzy. Voices from the lake consist of 2 Italian producers : Donato Scaramuzzi aka Donato Dozzy and Giuseppe Tillieci. Their eponymous debut, self titled Voices from the lake has gathered unanimous praises and after having listened to it for at least 25 or 30 times, I have to say that it is one of those albums that will come to define an era. The current decade for sure. Is it techno, or more precisely, Dub techno, ambient, minimal, electronic dub or all of the above ? Does it really matter ?

I’ve become less and less enamored with reviewing music because, to be frank, new music kinda sucks when you age (I’m not into the new Massive attack per se, as an example) and second of all, I kinda think like Zappa when he said that ”reviewing music with words is like dancing on architecture”. But here, we have an album that totally reinvents techno especially with those sublime warm ambiences. A lot has to do with the hypnotic grooves throughout the whole record : it’s like one idiosyncratic pulse that never wander away…There is a pulse for certain, but that is not what carries the mixed music as a whole, I mean it’s there, sometimes beneath the fuzzy textures but it’s not how I would define that quintessential record. So how would I ? Or better yet, why would I need to ? The result is rather most intriguing : it’s highly dynamic but yet very enigmatic as the grooves are never locked in there forever. They don’t dissappear either, they rather morph into something – an elusive mix of electronic that holds itself together like shapeshifting alien. The flow, the pacing and the spaces filled in the music are perfect.

This album is not and cannot be an instant favorite. It needs time to delve into one’s psyche. But when it stays, tracks like Virgo, remain there forever : This level of complexity wouldn’t be possible in most producers’ hands. As an art form, techno often strives to make something emotionally engrossing without using conventional stimuli like melody or lyrics. Dozzy and Neel have an incredible ear for sound design (Neel has also mastered many of Dozzy’s past records, including his album K, along with numerous other releases on Prologue), and this allows them to give each moment of the album a vivid foreground, middleground and background, each with countless details to pick apart. Voices From the Lake captivates from one moment to the next, but there’s
 a broad compositional element that keeps the whole thing moving. More than having just a beginning, middle and end, it has an introduction, several chapters and an epilogue.

The most memorable of these moments is “S.T. (VFTL Rework),” a new version of a song Dozzy recorded for an earthquake benefit compilation called Composure: Ambient Techno for Japan. By the time this track comes in, some 30 minutes into the album, we’ve gotten used to the idea that rhythm, texture and atmosphere might be all we’re going to get. This makes the arrival of smooth major chords, slowly cascading into the mix, truly climactic. Suddenly the album has an emotional dimension you didn’t see coming. It was a framework or a gimmick that was used a lot in the 1990’s on the IDM, ambient-techno and techno records. While working within known tools of electronic music such as sound design, linear rhythms, and slow build-ups, they have reworked techno’s fundamentals. This is why it is such a great record, a quintessential record, one that will stick for years to come. The range of soundscapes displayed on that record is so vast that it truly speaks for itself. I can’t think of a single techno, or dub techno, or minimal album that has struck such a deep Voice from the lake.

It is a landscape that is as beautiful as it is mesmerizing. The kind of place where I’d never want to vanish from, or maybe stay in the background, with the music flowing and growing on the same lake. Maybe that’s why it was called Voices from the lake. The voices remind me of Persistence of time by Dali. They never truly get out of your head. And we don’t want to either!

Breaking bad mix tape – best tracks of the seminal tv show

August 4, 2016 Leave a comment

sound_systemHaving binged watched Breaking bad for the 4 th time, this time in 3 weeks, I have compiled a simple mix of some of  the best tracks. Needless to say, if you haven’t watched this show yet, do yourself a favor and lock yourself in your basement and binge watch the best show ever on the small screen cuz unlike what Walter White said, ”masturbating, watching Breaking bad and eating cheetos all day does constitute plans”!

 

 

 

Top 5 Breaking bad tracks :

1) Tommy James And The Shondells : Crystal Blue Persuasion : Wanna cook ? (1968)

Crystal Blue Persuasion is a 1968 song originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells and composed by Eddie Gray, Tommy James and Mike Vale. A gentle-tempoed groove, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement, more akin to The Rascals’ sound at the time than to James’s contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. In 2012, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was used in the eighth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”, during a montage depicting the process involved to bring main character Walter White’s methamphetamine operation and its signature blue crystal meth to an international level.

2) The Peddlers : On A Clear Day : 1968

The Peddlers were a British jazz/soul trio of the 1960s and 1970s.In 2012, The Peddlers’ 1968 jazz cover was used in season 5 episode 3 (“Hazard Pay”) of AMC-TV’s Breaking Bad over a montage of Walt and Jesse’s meth manufacturing.

 

3) EL-P & Trent Reznor : Flyentology (Cassettes Won’t Listen Remix) 

EL-P aka El Producto, is an American hip hop recording artist, record producer and record executive from Brooklyn, New York City. Originally a member of Company Flow, El-P has been a major driving force in alternative hip hop for more than two decades, producing for several notable underground rappers. Here he collaborates with Trent Reznor of Nine inch nails fame.

4) Flavor Flav : Unga Bunga Bunga 

Plays in the background of the big party bash of Jesse Pinkman’s flat.  From Flavor Flav of Public Enemy fame. It is his first solo album and the only non-Public Enemy album made by him

5) Thee Oh Sees : Tidal Wave 

If or when I’ll throw a party, I ll be sure to put this on. A killer surf tune! In 2011, the band’s single “Tidal Wave” was featured in the Breaking Bad episode “Salud“, where it plays over Gus Fring’s poisoning of Don Eladio and his capos.”Fill your pockets and leave in peace, or fight me, and die!”

5 mixes worth checking out on Soundcloud and YouTube

February 12, 2016 Leave a comment

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I listen to quite a bit of mixes in addition to making my own for multiple Soundcloud channels. Like everyone, I find good ones, but also, not so memorable ones but I’ve made a little top 5 of mixes I often go back to listen to.

The first mix, is well, a Detroit techno mix, that was recorded by a random guy on vinyl in the mid 90’s. This dudde is probably the most proper DJ I’ve heard in a long time! The days when you needed physical records to mix and beat matching wasn’t a 100 % accurate science. The mix has some technical mistakes but it makes it even more interesting in my opinion. Shame about the no tracklisting but this mix is an absolute gem and a kick ass techno mix. Lots of techno classics in there like : Hi-Tech Jazz by Galaxy 2 Galaxy, then Green velvet Destination Unknown, then it’s Slam – Positive education, a couple of other tracks I was able to ID : X-102 – Intro (X-102), Jeff Mills Step to enchantment, The bells, Cycle30 (A3-loop) again by Mills, Surgeon – Magneze, Dave Clarke – Wisdom To The Wise (Red 2) (Robert Hood Remix), The Advent, Regis, Dave Angel, all in all a throwback party in memory lane, circa 1995 ! One word : WOW ! The Martian – Firekeeper and Nocturbulous Behaviour by Suburban Knight are two Detroit classics that he threw in there. What’s even more impressive is the mix he did between the actual mix and clips from different SF movies.

The clips used are from these movies :

Saturn 3
Space Truckers
Galaxy of Terror
Planet of the Vampires
Lifeforce
Battle Beyond the Stars
Forbidden Planet

The second and third mixes are from Cio d’or, a German DJ who’s incredibly talented, and should be more known in my opinion. Real name Cio Dorbandt, she’s uncompromising in the music that she mixes. It’s top notch minimal mostly, but in the Boiler room (a DJ gimmick – DJs that pay to play there – that repulses me by the way, sometimes interesting though…) mix she’s adding quite a lot of melodies on top of 4/4 minimal techno. Absolute mesmerizing mix. The second mix was done in collaboration with Donato Dozzy, the famous and VERY gifted Italian producer also known for his alias Voices from the lake, hailed as the best album on RA in 2012. This mix has a stunning progression but sadly comes without a tracklist. The only tracks I was able to recognize were Dreamfish – Underwater and Monolake – Mass transit railways from the Hong kong album in 1996 on Chain reaction. The third mix on this list is a mix done for the DJ series of DJ Pete aka Substance who works at Hardwax in Berlin. If you read this and don’t know what Hardwax is then a) You’re not knowledgeable in techno or b) you’re new to genre so educate yourself and visit their site! This mix was done by Milton Bradley though, it’s a great journey into electro, old and new. The first four tracks almost gets you in Space, while the rest of the mix is solid.

Last mix is from EDM star Diplo but here in a completely different mode, totally rare groove : soul & funk. Diplo got stoned and mixed really old records for half an hour.  Great mellow psychedelic mix. Jimi Hendrix, Donavan, and Jefferson airplane most notably.

1.Detroit techno Space mix

 

 

2. Cio d’or : Boiler Room TV April, 15th 2015

Tracklisting :

1) Cio D´Or _ hecto (sounds) _ Semantica 73Y
2) Plaster _ Libra _ Stroboscopic Artefacts 015
3) Irradiation _ Magnetic Monopole _ Temp Records
4) Martyn Hare _ Unforgiving (Bombardier Rmx) _ K1971
5) Cassegrain _ Distil _ Prologue
6) Moritz von Oswald _ Jam _ Honest Jon´s Records
7) N.d. _ Serial Surroundings (Poly) _ Black String Records
8) Mike Parker _ Ringing Bass _ Prologue
9) Mike Parker _ Polar Vortex _ Mote-Evolver
10) Sleeparchive _ Meson _ zzz
11) Sleeparchive _ Hospital 4 _ zzz
12) Mike Parker _ Currents _ Tsunami Records
13) Mike Parker _ Lustration Eleven (Edit Select Rmx)
_ Prologue
14) Mike Parker _ XavRmx _ unreleased
15) Cio D´Or _ XXXIII _ Semantica 73
16) Planetary Assault System _ The Eyes Themselves
_ Mote-Evolver
17) Heiko Laux _ Souldancer (Ray Kajioka Rmx)
_ Kanzleramt
18) Obtane _ Signs of Kinetic Posession (Mike Parker Rmx _
Unreleased
19) Paul Brtschitsch _ Sightdraft _ Fusion Records
20) Function _ Immolare _ Sandwell District
21) Shifted _ Arrangement in Monochrome _ Avianmusic
22) Cio D´Or _ tomorrow was yesterday _ Semantica 73
23) Cio D´Or _ XLIV for Mike _ Semantica 73

3. Cio DOr and Donato Dozzy–J

4.Milton Bradley : wax_treatment_podcast_035 

(Right click to save on your computer)

 

5. Diplo : got stoned and mixed really old records for half an hour

0:00 The Freak Scene-Grok!

1:36 The Dutch Rhythm & Steel Show Band-Down By The River (Neil Young Cover)

3:55 Donovan-Get Thy Bearings

5:45 The Common People-Soon There’ll Be Thunder

7:55 Jimi Hendrix-Hey Baby

12:45 Dorothy Ashby-For Some We Loved

16:30 Rotary Collection-I Am The Black Gold of the Sun (Hey Love)

20:31 ???-???

23:00 US69-2069 (A Spaced Oddity)

28:00 Jefferson Airplane-Today

31:00 United States of America-Cloud Song

34:00 New Live Trio-Empty Streets

 

 

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